The meeting began by Mr. Cerna’s address in stating its purposes to be looking at the findings and conclusions from ITA concerning the long-term positioning of the United Nations development system (UNDS) under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as SDGs.
Mr. Somavía was the first to take the floor, with an emphasis of having a stronger ECOSOC that provides more profound political guidance for UNDS as a prerequisite to achieve SDGs. Echoing with Mr. Somavía was Mr. Esteves, that whilst urging member states to recognize the current SDGs to be very ambitious, he said that it creates a need to strengthen UNDS’s assisting role. He stressed that what we need now is a coherent system, rather than a fragmented network with different entities under UNDS making isolated decision, leading to intense funding and resources competitions due to a lack of cooperation between entities. As for other challenges, he also added that it is essential for UNDS to establish clear authority and hierarchy between UNDS, all entities and ECOSOC as a way to create thoughtful leadership for UNDS. By doing so, he argued that a unified and coherent system under a strong leadership could help in overcoming fragmentation and unnecessary competitions between entities, thus fostering cooperation. Alongside with strong leadership, he added, an increase of transparency and accountability in funding approval is also pivotal for its smooth operation.
Besides, Ms. Reddy stressed that there is a need to create a system that is not merely for coordination, but also for deepened integration between entities, which could be achieved by having them merging with each other. She also proposed the establishment of a Sustainable Development Board under UNDS to oversee the process of integration and formulate global strategic framework for the process of sustainable development, thereby shaping the action of various UN entities at local, regional and national levels.
In looking for the way forward, Ms. Lacoeuilhe pointed out that evidence-based evaluation of the system must be conducted periodically so as to ensure that its capability in coping with the rapidly changing arena of international cooperation.
Meeting: Economic and Social Council – Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Date/Time/Location: Wednesday, 22 June, 2016; 10:00 – 13:00; Economic and Social Council Chamber
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Alejandro Palma Cerna, Vice-President of ECOSOC; Permanent Mission of Honduras to the United Nations, Ambassador Juan Somavía, Co-chair, Independent Team of Advisers to ECOSOC Bureau, Mr. Paulo Esteves, ITA Member, Mr. Sanjay Reddy, ITA Member, Ms. Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe, ITA Member
Written by: Raphael LEUNG